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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, May 12, 2006

Iran's president casts himself as Muslims' regional hero

Financial Times

Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad stole the international limelight again this week with his long-winded letter to George W. Bush. Seen as bold by some and clumsy by others, his move was quickly dismissed by Washington as a deliberate diversion. But it may yet serve another key objective of the Iranian president to widen his appeal in the Muslim world.

The new radical face of Iran has been bidding for a leadership role beyond his country's borders. Building on his popularity at home, where Mr Ahmadi-Nejad is seen as a pious man of the people, he has sought to craft an image as a regional hero. He told students yesterday during a trip to Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, that Iran was "defending the rights of many other countries" in maintaining its nuclear programme. More.


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